Pastor Adam Kareus

Adam Kareus has been the Pastor of River Valley since 2017 and before that he was the associate pastor for several years. He and Kacee have been married since 2010 and their first child, Titus, was born Sept. 3rd, 2012 and their daughter was born Feb. 20th, 2017. Kacee is a math instructional facilitator for the Fort Smith School District.

Adam has a B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University and a Masters of Divinity from Denver Seminary. He also earned his Doctorate of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2021. He ministered to youth with YoungLife for seven years and served as an associate pastor for a few years before coming to River Valley.

His passions in ministry are building solid relationships through discipleship, studying the Bible and preaching. As lead pastor Adam seeks to equip the congregation for ministry and helps guide the direction of the church alongside the Elders. 

Children's Director

Sherri Blalock

Sherri Blalock is the Children's Minister and it shows. Her spirit is lifted at children's smiles and spiritual growth! She and Adam have been married 25 years. She enjoys contemporary Christian music (including albums by her kids - duh!). And her favorite dish is the talapia at Rolando's.

She says, "It is a joy, a responsibility, and a tremendous privilege to be the ones to introduce children to Jesus." And regarding her hopes for River Valley - that we would be a living, growing body of believers who think beyond themselves and have a passion for knowing and serving God.

Something you likely didn't know about Sherri - her mother (no joke) almost named her (we're not making this up), "Polly Esther." Favorite color: blue. Bad habit: too much tv. When asked the 'rather discover gold or oil' question: Gold - because its pretty and oil is 'yukky.' 

She prefers Mexican to Italian, CSI to Law & Order, and rock to country.

See Sherri when you are ready to hear about and serve Children at River Valley!

email her at

Minister of GTD

Chrissy Ernst

Chrissy Ernst has been a member at River Valley for a long while. She started on staff in fall, 2011 as our 'Minister of GTD' (getting things done).

She is responsible for coordinating volunteers in several areas, providing administrative support, and helping Pastor Adam, our elders, and members provide care and follow-up to guests and regulars! (and lots of 'other stuff' 'as needed')

She and Charlie have been married 18 years after meeting in a park in Winslow, AZ.

They have three kids - Heather, Crystal is, and Christopher.

She loves singing & started early, singing 'Delta Dawn' at the Elks Club at age 5.

You'd get brownie points for taking her to El Super Taco, she likes to waterski, and enjoys dancing with Charlie and others in a team that does line dancing at nursing homes.

She was born on Christmas and made Bill Engvold's dad mad - because he was the delivering doctor!

She says, "Coming on staff has been life-changing for me and my family. It's a wonderful blessing to be part of what God's doing in the church!"

Email her at

Worship Director

Emily & Tedd Lodes

Emily & Tedd came on as part-time worship directors Dec. of 2017. They have a passion for music and for leading the congregation in worship. Tedd is also a director with Literacy Evangelism International.  


We are a Elder directed church with a team of Elders who along with the lead pastor help guide and direct the ministry. 

Adam Blalock

Bruce Sears

Dale Bedell

Bruce Brown

John Kareus